Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Blessing of Family


I intended to write about David and Absalom today. The topics of true repentance and restoration were on my mind but, when I opened my laptop, all I could think about was what happened last night.

I'm working hard, writing non-stop. I'm doing a lot of caregiving. I'm tired. But a break is 24-hours away. I can make it until then. That's what I've been telling myself for the past two weeks.

Last night, the Wednesday night Bible study, as usual, ended with us dividing into groups to pray for the people on our prayer list and for each other. 

"Pray for each other. If you have a need, share it," Pastor Scooter said.

I was afraid I'd start crying if I tried to share my burden, so I intended to keep silent. I knew I needed prayer, but my pride nearly kept me from speaking up. When no one else was quick to share their burden, I finally said, "I'm going out of town for the weekend and I'm worried about Sam." We've prayed for Sam before, so it was no surprise.

When it was my turn to pray, I got out a few words and what I'd feared the most happened. "I don't know what to do, Lord," was as far as I got. Tears started streaming down my face and I couldn't get them to stop. I cried and cried and cried. I was mortified, but I couldn't help the tears.

Caregiving is the most precious act of love you can give, but it's emotionally exhausting. I know about exhaustion and I know about needing a break, but I couldn't see how to take one. 

I was just holding on.

When the amen came, I was still wiping tears. I apologized profusely and the young man who led our group said, "We're family here. It's okay. I'm going to pray for you and your Sam. When are you leaving and when are you coming back?" I told him and he made a note. When he said he'd pray, he wasn't kidding.

A young woman in our group handed me a slip of paper. "My husband's aunt loves to help in this kind of situation. Her husband died of Alzheimer's. Here's her number." 

A friend in the group gave me a hug. She had tears in her eyes, too. "I always cry with people."

No one was over-solicitous. They accepted my pain and did what they could to help. They spoke hope into my situation. They cared.

The circumstances didn't change, but my heart did.

I left church last night strengthened and empowered to go a little further. To love a little more. To hope a little longer.

It would be nice to have a bucket of strength, but I received exactly as much as I needed. The strength for one more day.

I'm probably not the only one who's walking a hard road. I'm not the only one who's teetered on the edge of exhaustion. If you're on this road, don't let pride hold you back from the help and support the family of God longs to offer.

If you're not on this road, look for the ones who are loving so hard, and offer an encouraging word, a bit of help, but most important of all, don't forget to pray them through.

We're family, and that's what family is for. Last night, I was reminded of that all over again. 

I experienced the body of Christ in action, and it was a beautiful sight to behold.

"Bear one another's burdens and thereby fulfill the law of Christ." 
Galatians 6:2 nasb
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I'll schedule the guest blogs later today, but I won't be blogging myself again until Monday. (Be sure to read what our guests have written) God has given me the beautiful gift of a weekend off. For the first time since 9/23/2015. It's long overdue.
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I'm the featured guest on Whispers in Purple today. Check it out! (http://wp.me/p5BLdw-SE)
If you missed yesterday's blogs, here are the links:

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